Learned to Dance…in a Square!

Hi everyone! My name is Rhiannah Gallagher, just last month I was named as one of four 4-H Ontario ambassadors for 2022! As university classes wind down for me, I’ve been planning what 4-H projects I’m going to complete this year and thinking back on some of the favourite projects I’ve completed. One of my absolute favourites was Square Dancing, which falls under the Environment and Healthy Living pillar.

I had a lot of fun participating in my local Square Dancing club. Each week we would meet up for two hours to learn and run through different dances, switching up partners and squares to encourage members to step outside their comfort zone and try new things.

Though I had square danced once before at my sister’s wedding, I still had lots to learn!

We learned about how to set up a square, how to perform some of the most popular moves (like the promenade or the Do Si Do), and how to two-step (it’s harder than it sounds). By the end of the club, we hosted our achievement program and performed different sets for our friends and family, and as an added bonus at the end of the program we got to teach our friends and family some of the moves we had learned.

Square dancing may not seem like the obvious choice of a club, but it can teach you a lot more than just how to have fun on the dance floor! I learned about teamwork, improved my listening skills (listening for those calls from the caller), stayed physically active, and built new friendships while doing something fun. Square dancing has a rich history, join in a club that is keeping it alive and well!

The Square Dancing project is designed to teach youth:

  • The basics of square dance music and finding the beat
  • Numerous square dance moves
  • Several different square dances and styles
  • The rich history and current state of square dancing around the world

If you look at the record book for this project there are so many fun activities to pick from, like:

  • Creating your own set
  • Interviewing someone that’s square danced before
  • Design your own costume.
  • Planning a square dance event

There really is something for everyone in this project!

I loved my experience in Square Dancing club and hope to do it again soon! If you are interested in finding out more about this particular project or any others from the environmental and healthy living pillar, follow this link to the club project resource and take a look!